During a break at a recent Hands & Voices staff and board meeting, I took a good look around the room. Some of the staff and board members were engaged in one-on-one conversations. Others were in groups.
Over the years, every single person on the board and staff came to Hands & Voices because of one thing: a passion for families with deaf and hard of hearing children.
Isn’t that so frou-frou? Passion? I mean, come on.
Dedication. Involvement. Contribution. Those are certainly words to describe people who serve at every level of Hands & Voices.
What’s the core of what we do at Hands & Voices? What are we about? Who are we about? What’s our mission? What are our values? What is the “why” of what we do?
To those who may not be deeply familiar for what we stand for and how we support families, there’s often the misconception that we’re all about choices for families. That it’s all about communication methods and modalities.
But it’s not that.
It’s all too easy to get hung up on trying to balance the dance of equality among the choices out there. When you do that, you never win. It’s never balanced. It can’t be. This whole journey with deaf and hard of hearing children can’t be summed up by communication alone. To do that is to compartmentalize the journey.
At Hands & Voices we are sometimes bombarded with finger-pointing by others who insist we must remain neutral, balanced, and equal on every level in our daily work.
Instead, our work goes deeper than that. It’s about the emotional ups and downs of being a parent and understanding this journey. It’s about reaching out so that no one has to journey alone. It’s about providing support during the rough times and celebrating the joys.
Call it frou-frou if you will. We call it passion. It’s the fuel that drives us to do this day in and day out–without always having the funding to do so.
Passion is what keeps us up at nights responding to a parent who is frantic about the next day’s IEP meeting.
Passion is what allows us to have the energy to drive three hours to host an event for parents and children.
Passion is what pushes us to share resources, knowledge, and encouragement so other parents can be empowered on their own journeys.
Mom to David, Lauren, & Steven
Co-Coordinator of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infusion at Hands & Voices